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This is not necessarily consistent throughout the U.S. and tends to be a West Coast vs. East Coast preference.  Many times the engineer will fully engineer and sketch the connection and the fabricator (actually the fabricator's detailer) adds only the fabrication details such as exact angles, gage dimensions, etc.  However, many times the engineer simply provides the loads at the connection and the fabricator will provide an appropriate design.

You may want to note that the UBC, which applies to most of the West Coast of the U.S., highly discourages the fabricator from designing connections that specifically resist seismic loads.  UBC Section 1633.2.3 reads "Connections that resist design seismic forces shall be designed and detailed on the drawings.  The commentary to this section from the SEAOC "Recommended Lateral Force Requirements and Commentary C108.2.2 reads "In some geographical regions, particularly those with low seismicity, a practice has evolved that leaves the design and detailing of connections to the fabricator or constructor (notwithstanding its criticism by the American Society of Civil Engineers).  This practice is absolutely prohibited by this provision......"

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting

Juan José Treff De la Mora <jjtreff(--nospam--at)>

12/09/2002 01:44 PM
Please respond to seaint

        To:        seaint(--nospam--at)

Hi collegaues,
I remember I read somewhere in this forum, that the design responsibility of
the connections in the US, is from the fabricator. Is this correct?

I think the structural engineer only suggests the connections to be used in
his design but the steel fabricator is the final designer of the
connections. If I'm correct, can anyone tell me where in the AISC Manual of
Steel Construction I can find this statement.

Thank you,